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American Journal of Evaluation

American Journal of Evaluation

Official Journal of the American Evaluation Association

eISSN: 15570878 | ISSN: 10982140 | Current volume: 41 | Current issue: 4 Frequency: Quarterly

Each issue of the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE) explores decisions and challenges related to conceptualizing, designing and conducting evaluations. AJE offers original, peer-reviewed, often highly cited articles about the methods, theory, ethics, politics, and practice of evaluation. AJE also provides essay-length reviews of books on a single topic or issue relevant to the theory and practice of evaluation and the role of evaluation in society.

AJE features broad, multidisciplinary perspectives on issues in evaluation relevant to education, public administration, behavioral sciences, human services, health sciences, sociology, criminology and other disciplines and professional practice fields.

Some of the critical subjects covered in recent and forthcoming issues include:

  • Advances in Evaluation Theory
  • Evaluation and complexity science
  • Evaluation and implementation science
  • Evaluation and systems thinking
  • Evaluation capacity building
  • Evaluation Ethics and Standards
  • Evaluation in international settings
  • Evaluation issues in a specific field of application
  • Meta-evaluation
  • Methods and Measurement in Evaluation
  • Teaching Evaluation
  • The Politics of Evaluation

The American Journal of Evaluation publishes scholarly articles on the interdisciplinary field of evaluation. Currently, the American Journal of Evaluation offers sections to which authors may submit manuscripts for consideration for publication. The required reference and citation style for this journal is APA 6. Additional specifications for each category, including details about suggested content and page length, appear below.

Articles – Articles focus on topics applicable to the broad field of program evaluation. We seek articles that examine topics in evaluation methods, theory, and/or practice. In all cases implications for practicing evaluators should be clearly identified. Examples of contributions included, but are not limited to, reviews of new developments in evaluation, descriptions of challenges or lessons from a current evaluation study, critical reviews of some area of evaluation practice, and presentations of important new techniques. Length is not a goal or criteria for manuscripts submitted to the Articles category, yet well-developed manuscripts tend to be between 20-30 pages. Manuscripts in excess of 35 pages may be returned to the author for additional editing before review at the discretion of the editor.

ForumForum contributions present essays, opinions, and professional judgments. These articles may speak to and about the philosophical, ethical, and practical dilemmas of our diverse, inter- and trans- disciplinary profession. By design, the Forum section encourages submissions from diverse points of view and experiences, in the hope that our professional dialogue will benefit from learning from multiple perspectives. Forum submissions should reference the literature that has contributed to the authors’ perspectives. Manuscripts should not exceed 15 pages (double spaced), unless invited by the Editor.

Special Section – AJE sometimes considers and publishes special sections. Special sections consist of curated articles on a common topic or theme, assembled by an outside group and submitted for consideration through our peer review system. These sections are typically reviewed by peers external to AJE and then reviewed by AJE reviewers. Examples of special sections can be found in issues 39-1 and 36-4. Please contact the Editor with if you are interested in submitting a proposal for a special section.

Book Reviews ­– The Book Review Editor solicits reviews of single books applicable to the broad field of evaluation. In addition, this section may include reviews of other kinds of resources for evaluations (e.g. – web-based resources, manuals, and handbooks). We also consider essay reviews – in-depth, peer-reviewed articles that examine one or more recent books of particular significance on a single topic. Essay reviews are between 5,000 - 8,000 words long. All reviews are commissioned by the Book Review Editor. Please contact the book review editor, Leslie J. Cooksy ( before beginning to work on a review.

Economic Evaluation – Economic evaluations examine the value of resources used to produce an impact to advance understanding about the relative efficiency and return on a given investment and to assist in the consideration of alternatives to reach a particular goal. Economic evaluations are largely characterized by the consideration of costs in addition to estimating effectiveness. These evaluations may take the form of cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, or benefit-cost analysis. This section seeks methodological articles that provide perspective on the methods of examining and estimating costs and benefits. Applied evaluation articles are also welcome that provide exemplary applications of methods, serving to illustrate standards of quality in economic evaluation. For additional information, please contact the section editor, Brooks Bowden (

Ethics, Values, and Culture Evaluations occur across a broad range of cultural, political, social, and historical contexts in local, national and international settings. Questions of ethics and values thus become inseparable from cultural ones. As a dimension of evaluation, ethics transforms the inquiry process from the transactional to an aspirational practice, intrinsically related to questions of aim, worth, purpose, responsibility, and value. This section includes articles that focus on ethics, values and culture in evaluation, posing questions about the purpose of social inquiry and the responsibility of the evaluator to questions of culture, purpose and role. Manuscripts for this section should range from 10-25 double-spaced pages. If you have any questions, or would like to talk about ideas for a paper, please feel free to contact the section editors, Jill Anne Chouinard ( or Fiona Cram (

Experimental Methodology -- Evaluations that use an experimental design (with randomization of treatment and control units) are distinctive and involve their own methods, including design, analysis and practice. The Experimental Methodology Section provides a forum for scholarly discussions of these methods. Examples of issues relevant to evaluation design include sample size and the design’s power to detect effects, appropriate units of randomization and analysis (and implications of sample clustering), and the external validity of experimentally-designed evaluations. Experiments’ distinctive analytic issues involve impact estimation and accurate standard error computation, within study comparisons (under what conditions do varied quasi-experiments reproduce experiments’ results), and strategies for getting inside the black box (including analyses of mediators using experimental data). Issues relevant to evaluation practice involve integration of randomization into program operations, opportunities and challenges from multi-site experiments, and implementing low cost experiments. Manuscripts submitted to this section are typically between 20-30 pages. For additional information, please contact the section editor, Laura Peck (

International Developments in Evaluation -- This section focuses on pertinent issues shaping evaluation around the world. Many evaluations are implemented in highly challenging humanitarian and development contexts. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes that context-sensitive development is now the purview of all countries. For this reason, new ways of thinking and working have to be found to resolve the complex challenges facing the world today. At the same time, evaluation has become a global endeavor, as reflected in EvalPartners’ Global Evaluation Agenda. Through the articles in this section, we aim to share understandings, highlight new ideas and approaches, and invigorate discussions about issues that matter in the international evaluation arena today and into the future. For more information, please contact the section editors, Deborah Rugg ( and Zenda Ofir (

Method Notes -- The method notes section seeks to highlight new or improved developments in research and evaluation methods, techniques, and tools. We are particularly interested in methods that have been systematically studied and that can be applied to different types of evaluations. We welcome articles that enhance qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to evaluation and research. Method notes are shorter papers (20 double spaced pages or less) describing methods and techniques that support effective evaluation practice. For additional information, please contact the section editor, Tarek Azzam (

Teaching and Learning of Evaluation -- This section seeks articles that focus on teaching and learning of evaluation in diverse domestic and international environments (e.g., K-12, corporate, government, non-profit, community-based, informal learning, and more traditional, academic settings). We welcome a variety of formats, including case studies; interviews; reports of innovative teaching approaches/methods; debates about teaching, learning, and professionalization issues; and critical reflections on pedagogy and/or andragogy. We has a special interest in traditional research articles on the teaching of evaluation. In general, manuscripts for this section should range from 10 to 25 double-spaced, word-processed pages. If you have any questions or suggestions about topics you would like to see addressed in this section would like to chat about an idea you are considering for submission, feel free to contact the section editor, Anne Vo (

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The American Journal of Evaluation (AJE) publishes original papers about the methods, theory, practice, and findings of evaluation.  The general goal of AJE is to present the best work in and about evaluation, in order to improve the knowledge base and practice of its readers.  Because the field of evaluation is diverse, with different intellectual traditions, approaches to practice, and domains of application, the papers published in AJE will reflect this diversity.  Nevertheless, preference is given to papers that are likely to be of interest to a wide range of evaluators and that are written to be accessible to most readers.

George Julnes University of Baltimore, USA
Managing Editor
Rachael B. Lawrence University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
Associate Editors
Jori N. Hall University of Georgia, USA
Sebastian Lemire University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Gregory Phillips II Northwestern University, USA
Justus Randolph Mercer University, USA
Book Reviews
Marc T. Braverman Oregon State University, USA
Economic Evaluation
A. Brooks Bowden University of Pennsylvania, USA
Ethics, Values, and Culture
Jill Anne Chouinard University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
Fiona Cram Katoa Ltd.
Experimental Methodology
Laura R. Peck Abt Associates, USA
International Developments in Evaluation
Zenda Ofir Independent Evaluator
Deborah Rugg Claremont Evaluation Center
Method Notes
Tarek Azzam Claremont Graduate University, USA
Teaching and Learning of Evaluation
Anne Vo University of Southern California, USA
Editorial Advisory Board
Mohammed Javad Ahmadi Afghanistan Ministry of Education, Afhghanistan
Eric Barela
Sharon Brisolara Shasta College, USA
Fred Carden RTI International
Chris Coryn Western Michigan University, USA
Lois-Ellin Datta Datta Analysis
Stewart I. Donaldson Claremont Graduate University, USA
Mariana Enriquez Independent Consultant
Amanda Greene National Institutes of Health
George Grob Center for Public Program Evaluation, USA
Melvin Hall Northern Arizona University, USA
Karen E. Kirkhart Syracuse University, USA
Joan LaFrance Mekinak Consulting, USA
John LaVelle University of Minnesota, USA
Frances P. Lawrenz University of Minnesota, USA
Henry M. Levin Teachers College, Columbia University, USA
Anna Madison University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
Joseph A. Maxwell George Mason University, VA
Katharine McKnight Pearson Education, K-12 Solutions, USA
Rakesh Mohan Idaho State Legislature, USA
Kathryn E. Newcomer George Washington University, USA
Michael Q. Patton Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Saint Paul, MN
Laura R. Peck Abt Associates, USA
Susan Philliber Philliber Research Associates, USA
Steven Pierce Michigan State University, USA
Hallie S. Preskill FSG Social Impact Advisors
Stephanie M. Reich University of California, Irvine, USA
Maurice Samuels MacArthur Foundation, USA
Saumitra SenGupta Behavioral Health Concepts, Inc.
Lyn M. Shulha Queen's University, Canada
Janet Usinger University of Nevada, Reno, USA
Dana Wanzer University of Wisconsin, Stout, USA
Rebecca H. Woodland University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
Editors Emeriti
Melvin M. Mark Pennsylvania State University, USA
Robin L. Miller, PhD Michigan State University, USA
Sharon F. Rallis University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
Thomas A. Schwandt University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
Midge Smith The Evaluators' Institute, USA
Blaine R. Worthen Utah State University, USA
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  • Individuals interested in contributing to the Ethical Challenges, Exemplars, Teaching Evaluation, and Book Reviews sections should contact the relevant section editor (see Contribution Categories). All other manuscripts should be submitted to the SAGETRACK where authors will be required to set up an online account. If prospective contributors have questions or are uncertain about the appropriateness of possible submissions, they are welcome to contact the relevant section editor or George Julnes at

    The purpose of the American Journal of Evaluation is to publish work that contributes to the development of evaluation theory, methods, and practice. To determine if a manuscript is relevant to our audience, authors should review the aims and scope of the journal.

    The AJE publishes the following types of unsolicited peer reviewed manuscripts:

    • Reports of research on evaluation
    • Critical literature reviews
    • Theory development papers
    • Developments in qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods
    • Reports on conceptual developments in approaches to practice
    • Evaluation history reports
    • Papers on teaching evaluation
    • Essays on key issues in evaluation theory, practice, methods, or ethics

    Manuscripts should not be right justified. Every element within the manuscript must be double-spaced, including tables and references, and must follow the style recommendations of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.; click here for APA style resources). All manuscripts must be submitted online following the instructions for submission at Author Center.

    Please follow the submission guidelines that are highlighted in our Submission Guidelines Document here.


    Authors must submit written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to use material being borrowed or adapted from other sources, including previously published material of your own, along with complete details about the source. Any permissions fees that might be required by the copyright owner are the responsibility of the author(s) requesting use of the borrowed material, not the responsibility of Sage or American Evaluation Association. The documentation of permission should be included with the manuscript at the time of submission and uploaded as a supplementary file. For detailed information about permissions including what types of materials require permission, please refer to Sage's Permissions Guidelines.

    Ethical and Legal Considerations

    A submitted manuscript must be an original contribution not previously published (except as an abstract or a preliminary report), must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and, if accepted, must not be published elsewhere, including on a website, in similar form, in any language, without the consent of Sage and American Evaluation Association. Each person listed as an author is expected to have participated in the work to a significant extent. Although the editors and referees make every effort to ensure the validity of published manuscripts, the final responsibility rests with the authors, not with the Journal, its editors, the publisher, or the American Evaluation Association.

    Time for Review, Decision, and Production

    The usual time from manuscript submission to the author's receipt of the editor's decision about publication is approximately 2 months. During that time, each manuscript undergoes a rigorous double-blind peer review by up to 5 reviewers, and review by the Editor or Associate Editor. The editor's possible decisions are (a) accept; (b) accept, with minor revisions; (c) major substantive revisions required (must be resubmitted for full review with no guarantee of acceptance); or (d) reject. Revised manuscripts are requested to be returned within 120 days. The time from acceptance to publication is dependent on many factors including the number and types of manuscripts awaiting publication, variations in time required for revisions, and ability of author(s) to provide all materials required for publication. All manuscripts are edited and copyedited before they are sent to the printer. The corresponding author receives page proofs for approval before publication. The Editor will keep authors informed of the projected date of publication.


    Regular membership in the American Evaluation Association is $109 annually ($44 for students) and includes a subscription to the American Journal of Evaluation and New Directions for Evaluation. Membership dues and changes of address for members should be sent to: AEA, 2025 M St. NW, Ste. 800, Washington, D.C. 20036. Membership and other information is also available on the AEA Web site.

    SAGE Choice and Open Access

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to nonsubscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

    Data Sharing:

    At SAGE, we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, The Journal encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and where data is included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway, which includes information about SAGE’s partnership with the data repository Figshare.

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    Institutional Print subscription inclusive of free online access